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December 17, 2008

Moving Back

So while it happened a little while back, I have moved back to the US... for better or for worse? True, Shanghai was my new home, and yes I had great friends, but things come up sometimes. Well, at least there's more green back here in the US.

To celebrate my coming back, I have redone my "blog icon" to match a little bit more of what I wanted my blog to show.

But enough of blabbering on.
My recommendation is that if you don't already have super docker, or Adobe reader 9, than download them. They make your life much easier.


December 11, 2008

Can you hear this?

Some newspapers have talked about the "invisible" ring tone, that only teens can hear is here. Check this site out: for the "mosquito rings"

Incase you wanted to look at my menu, here it is... I haven't updated yet.

New "check this out" Icons include - drum roll - the "area 52" icon set. pretty awesome and modern; a mix of alien and apple. Check it out.

Now a important announcement:
minkster is now back in the USA. Unexpectedly. Very, very, unexpectedly. well, I'm here in the US now, so no worries.


Book of the week: The Hunger Games

December 9, 2008

3 top menu items for macs

In my opinion, your menu isn't complete on top without three cool "gizmos." These include
  • Insomnia X: Keeps your computer running while your lid is closed
  • Caffine: keeps your computer bright so you don't have to keep rubbing the mouse; use with Insomnia
  • IAntiVirus: Scans your computer for viruses, then deletes viruses
Have fun,

(haven't had any viruses yet)

December 8, 2008

There and back again

Back in the US, lessons learned, and many new experiences. Some must gets for a trip to China, or just plain cools.

  • Hotspot Shield: This device can be used to get passed the China firewall, or the school block. Works for both Windows & Macs. Search "download Hotspot Shield" on google, and download away!
  • Skype: For communicating to people back home... and when the lesson is boring. A good multipurpose communication. Search Skype on google to obtain Skype.
More news and reflections later,

November 17, 2008

Creating a locked folder (Macs)

The question often comes up, how do you create a locked folder? Well, prepare to be enlightened.

Step one: click on spotlight and type in "disk utility"

Step two: Click on new image

Step three: name your "disk" and choose 128 bit encription

Step four: put in your password

Violá, your done

An easier way: go to to download "espionage" and lock folders easily.


October 18, 2008

A Beijing Trip

First, after flying into the Beijing Airport, I went to Sun Village, a village where the kids live becuase their parents are in jail.

Next, I visited the Olympic Park, and went inside of the Birds Nest for the second time. You can actually go on the field, but not on the track.


next: The Hutongs, Planning Exibition, And More

September 28, 2008

Crazy Taxi Driver

Some things are much different here in Shanghai than America... Such as: barganing, shopping, and... taxis. The taxi drivers here pay NO attention to speed limit. Here's some basic information you might want to know.
  • Taxi Drivers are ranked in "stars" one star is the worst, and five stars are extremely rare
  • Hold onto your seat. Your going to need to!
  • Crashes are negotiated on the spot. If an agreement for paying can't be agreed on, the police are called to help.
My experience goes as follows: Start at the Super Brand Mall. Here comes a taxi. I wave it down. The driver doesn't really know the way, and so we're telling him where to go. The average fare to our house is 15 yuan, and so when we get there, and the meter shows 27 yuan, we're not happy. We tell him that we should only pay him 15 yuan. He gets really angry, and starts to speed back to the Jin Mao as fast as possible. We tell him to stop, and he doesn't stop. Finally, my mom pulls open the door, and out we get (of course he stopped when my mom opened up the door!). We pay him the fair, and out we go.

Hope you don't have an experience like that!


Photo from;

September 14, 2008

Johnny Moos

Johnny Moos is an ice cream shop that is great, and yummy, and a little taste of home. It may seem like a lot of money, but hey, it's less than the US.
  • Great Milkshakes
  • Great Ice cream
  • Sherpas "the 'bring to you' company will deliver to you"
  • Free delivery within 1k of Johnny Moos

I recommend the cookie dough milkshake, but also, if you're feeling like you want a fruit, try the mango milkshake. It tastes like mango.

On the other hand, watermelon juice is great, becuase of how it tastes. Try it (when your sure that the watermelon used is not just the street watermelon).

Finally, there's the rain. It just keeps raining, and it's good, becuase it washes away the dirt from the sidewalk... just as long as it isn't polluted. You may not want to chance walking in the sidewalk, becuase really, do you want to know what's in it?


September 13, 2008

World Financial Center

Here in China, the world financial center is a big hit. After all, it's tall. There's a tower being built that is supposedly going to be MUCH taller! When you look up, it's hard to believe.
Anyways, because it's so tall, many people want to go up, and would go up if... if it wasn't so expensive. I have a friend who's family went up (only four people in all), and it cost 70 US dollars! Very expensive.
I might go up to myself, later, and see if the price is worth it.

Also, the shopping is always fun here, and you should see some of the things there are. These include software, as well as tailored clothes!

Besides that there's lots of rain. Lot's and Lot's and Lot's of rain. The locals say it's unusual.

Bye for now,

September 10, 2008

Lots of Places for SHOPPING

OK, so maybe I'm not the best of bargaining, but being here for just a little while will increase your bargaining skills tenfold.

Some places you should visit to shop for cool stuff, clothes, and software are:

International Pearl Market
The mall under the science and technology museum
NOT off the street
the turtle market (for pet turtles)
the Fabric Market (get custom fit clothes!)

Bargaining in key here


September 1, 2008

New School

A new school is always fun. Maybe not so fun if you don't know many people, or are unsocial, however, for my part, I lack neither, so a new school is fun. I got a mac for school, and so I can now download a whole barrage of things. I'll inform any readers for the blog on all of the downloads for macs and PCs. But back to school. If you are going to school overseas, take my tip. Most of these kids (if it is an international school) have gone through this experience, so you can count on them to help you. Also, people are more friendly than you may expect and so that you can make friends and feel at home more.

After a little while you would think that you would get used to it. I haven't yet. One thing you might want to know is that the spitting is a little bad (people spit even in the grocery store), so just wear shoes (big ones are preferable). 

Speaking of grocery stores, Carrefour is a great one to buy handy stuff. Carrefour Stores are massive things. Huge in every perspective, they are wildly popular with locals and foreigners alike. 

Here's my Carrefour experience:
Let's get this TV! Ok, it's cheap for it's size. It's LG. OK! proceed to check out. The man motions for us to put the TV not the DVD player on the check out counter. It gets rung up. Then we have to wait in line for the DVD player. We realize that we need to get a cord between the tv and the dvd player. Nope. They don't have it. wait. the man comes out of the storeroom. He offers us the cord with the price. We pay him directly, and he pays the store. Then they test the cord with the dvd player and the tv. okay, it works. We buy all of the other things in our cart and rush out. The time was over two hours since we went in!

Back to previous paragraphs: However you might want want to use Cityshop for meat and fish, because the Carrefour meats look a little bit "iffy," or if you might want a little bit of a taste of home. 

Recommendations from
我是很聪明。just kidding!

August 29, 2008

2 good restaurants

Out with some people at two different restaurants, i will report them.
Kathleen 5, and Face are two great restaurants.

Kathleen 5 is located over an art museum, at the top of an old railway station, with a fabulous view of peoples park.

Face is loacated near the tech. park, and it makes you feel like you aren't in China anymore, and you can chose from Morrocan,Thai, and Indian foods in different rooms, as well as a night club.

Both restaurants, i feel i must alert you, are not for the stingy. They have high prices, but if you feel like you want a special night or lunch in a perfect setting, try these places out. If not, if you feel you want something special, or if you feel homesick, just go to Element Fresh!


PS, for those pictures I posted earlier, click on them to enlage them!

August 28, 2008

Must See Aquarium

A must see aquarium in Shanghai sets the bar for extremely great aquarium. Lots of room for the animals, lots to see, under water observation galore!

They even went so far as to put in underwater escalators,

a fake dock and rusty boat,

or a moving underwater sight seeing tunnel!

Because they went so far, this is a must see aquarium.

The price may seem a little bit pricy for the one hour experience, but it is totaly worth it, and you will be raving on like me once you go! Also, the feeding times are cool, so time your visit!


(the aquarium is loacated near the Science museum, the super brand mall, and the Jin Mao tower)

Hmmm... Food?

Living in Shanghai and not adventuring out for some food in a new place is preposterous, however, you may come out feeling a little bit foolish. Here's my experience...

Hmmm... this looks like a good place for food.

Okay, lets go in.

walk in, sit down.

we'll take this, this, and this.

pointing at food pictures

what's that?

looking at a steaming bowl, not able to see what's in it

The waiter looked at the food, and pointed at something on the menu. We said, "Mei you, bu shi, no thanks." Waiter goes away. Four dishes are coming up. Soon the waiter comes back with... What was that? A big steaming dish... uh, oh.

Lesson learned: Stick to the menu, don't point - the dish will end up on your table, be adventurous.


August 21, 2008


I got into Beijing from Shanghai, and immediately went to bed (anyone would, being very tired, and not used to the time difference), and woke up, and it was time for the Olympics.

First in the Birds Nest Stadium I watched Racewalking finals, Javelin Prelims, Men's 100 Decathlon, Women's High jump Prelims, and Men's Decathlon Long Jump.

After that, I walked around the greens, took the subway (very clean, cheap, and easy to use), and went back to the hotel to deposit some friendlies. Finally we went to the women's bronze and gold medal soccer games.

For the first game, Germany had the advantage of the home crowd (China). Cheers went up whenever they had the ball. And the Germans took the bronze medal.

Then, the USA team fought Brazil for the gold. The score was tied 0-0 until finally the US came out with a goal in the first overtime. Brazil took a few shots, but no goal was scored, and the US came out with the gold!


August 15, 2008

A quote

Time passes so quickly when you want to hold onto it, and then drags on when you want it to speed up. My lesson that I learned was make the most of your time, and enjoy the world, because you won't be here long.


(Didn't mean to be depressing. It meant don't waste time, and make the most of it.)

August 14, 2008


Need a cool sign, an incentive poster, or a word logo?

Easily make them with Wordle ( and create them. Type the words many times in a row to make them bigger. Example

blog blog blog blog
review review
fun fun
have fun

Then click the go button, and change the font, the layout, and the colors!


August 12, 2008

So what now?

Reading has always been a priority for me - I just read Young Zorro: The Iron Brand, and liked it - not loved it, but for me, and many other people, watching the Olympics is spectacular. Who else could have thought up all of those opening ceremony tricks and preformances? Who else could create those stadiums in such short notice?
Well, to put it far off, I don't have to go raving on about how America is doing, and how China is doing.

So what should I blog about? The new face of minkster blog? (thanks to google, I now can put games and more images and more widgets (smaller programs that you can run on a website or blog) on minkster blog. So thanks to google for that.

Maybe I'll just play a few games down below... maybe.

Well, the countdown to the plane to China, and the Olympics for me. Also (not to be all high up and braggy), airplanes are cold and stuffy. Someone should come up with a better solution for air circulation. Oh, well.


August 7, 2008

Warming up for China!

So, I blogged about going to China for the Olympics. I now reveal (to my audience of one), that I'm going to stay in China for an almost year (almost year equals nine months). That means a lot of China quick facts, and a lot of pics. (mainly from the place at Shanghai).

Also, this means some tour facts, and a lot of Asia revealings. So, welcome new adventures, and bring on the Beijing 2008 olympics!


(any questions can be answered through comments on this post, and others!)

August 4, 2008

Olympics & site update

So, we all know that the Beijing Olympics 2008 are coming up. Most people also know some of the debates about it: smog, the cleaning up, free speech, journalist rights. I also have a few updating sites up on the side of the blog (courtesy of Google). Well, i'm going to go to some of the Olympics, and so I will keep this blog updated with the conditions, and what's happening in the events I watch, and some video and pictures also! (events include: fresh water kayaking, women's bronze and silver medal soccer game, men's preliminary javelin, and ... the end of one of the racewalks!


So for the second topic, you have probably noticed some of the new things that this blog has, such as... music, game links, and a guest book (please sign!). The music is from Project playlist (, game links are provided by me, and guest book is from Slide (

Thanks for the cooperation and time for reading,


North of Beautiful

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley is about a girl (Terra) and finding what true beauty means, and coming to like herself for who she is, not what she looks like.

This is a great book, that I think was definitely a worth while read. If you haven't read it I suggest you do.

I give this book a minkster rated 9/10.

I really liked this book for how it keeps you reading, and also how all of the story fits together like a puzzle board.


July 30, 2008


A few weeks ago, I put up a post: which would you rather write with: a pen & paper, a computer, a laptop, or a phone (texting).

Results came in:

  • Paper and Pencil: 0 (0%)
  • Computer: 5 (71%)
  • Phone: 0 (0%)
  • Laptop: 2 (28%)

So, these are the results. From this quick poll, we can do an estimate determination of what people like to write with. Goodbye old ways, welcome new ways, however, not texting.


July 22, 2008

Weekly News and Comments 3

So, for my third weekly news and comments... what to do?

Something concerning tech? Something concerning books? Nah, how about a notification!

My third WN&C is going to be about an introduction to the Junior Olympics. We all know about the Olympics. It's going to be hosted in Beijing. Did you know however, that for kids 8-18 there is a nation wide (US) Junior Olmpics.
Events range from the one-hundred to the three thousand meter racewalk.

Qualifying can be a toughfy though. You have to go through associations (near your area- the local trach teams), regionals (all of the states nearby), and finaly if you get through those steps, you get to participate in the Junior Olympics.

Right now, on Friday, We are on the fourth day of JO's. It's been sweltering hot here in Omaha, with an occasional rain shower.

For more information go to the USATF site (united states of america track and field).


July 19, 2008

Over Sea, Under Stone

Over Sea, Under Stone, by Susan Cooper is the prequel to the popular The Dark is Rising.
In this book Simon, Jane, and Barney go on an unexpected quest to find a goblet that tells of King Arthur's times. However, they are not the only ones looking. They are on the righteous side, so people from the dark side are trying to find it before them.

I give this book two thumbs up (9/10), for a good plot, a good page turner, but most of all, the characters. Characters are what make a good book, a good book. If the characters are all perfect, or all snotty (and not funny), then I regard the book as a "not so good book" because without good characters the book and the plot isn't carried out with the same gusto if the book had had great characters!

Good Job Susan Cooper for writing this book!

I highly recommend this book for ages nine to sixteen, for people who like adventure.


p.s. If you haven't read the series, I recommend that you do so.

July 16, 2008

Why Read?

Why be such an avid reader?

Reading is fun, depending on what book you chose. It increases your vocabulary, and gives you ideas. You can immerse yourself in a different world, go on a quest, or save the universe from ultimate destruction.

You can also get away from who you are, and what you are doing, and just DEAR (Drop Everything And Read).

It can relax stress (at least for me).

However, you have to get the right book that will work for you, because if you don't, you probably won't enjoy it one bit.
So off to DEAR time!


Weekly news and comments 2

This week of posting has been very exciting, and so, in honor of that, I will blog about a free program called scratch.
Scratch is a very easy program to use, and lets you make your own game, animation, or short story. You can make your own figures, and best of all, it's free!

Also, you can publish what you make to the web site, so that other people can see/play you work. You can play their game/animation to!

So you can use the easy-to-use program, join the community, play games, and learn while you're doing all of it!


Kaimira- the sky village

Kaimira, book one, was a very satisfying read. Satisfying, because it was exciting. Satisfying, in a sense that you want more. And satisfying, it was above your expectations.

Kaimira by Monk & Nigel Ashland (published by Candlewick Press) is about two kids (the story switches between them), who share DNA with the meks (evil robots, built for humans), and the beasts (who fight the meks and the humans). The human empire has fallen, and humans have had to retreat into hiding, or up into the Sky Village (a village held up by hot air balloons). The two humans- Mei and Rom- meet each other through two identical books they are told not to open. In two life threatening conditions, they try to help each other through... to survive.

I would rate this book 9/10, and would recommend this book for ages 10-17.

I really liked how Monk & Nigel Ashland wove this story like a pattern, coming together, and amazing you with how the story comes together.

I can't wait for the next book!!!!!!


Y Pulse, Continued

This is the second post, so if you haven't read the first one, I would suggest that you read it.

This post is about some of the other things that happened at Y Pulse.

The first point I would like to bring up, is that most of the websites, and/or companies that presented, were for everyone (adults and kids, male and female), or they were for girls (well, almost every presentation).

Next, an interesting topic that I picked up at the book presentation, was that books one day will go from the hard copy that you now enjoy, to online, or with a portable device that would be cheap. Some people said that this change would happen in the next five years. Now, despite that, some people will still want the hard-copy, and that's great! Book stores will still be around, but will be more tech related.

My third point is that, if possible, this conference is a great booster for anyone who is creating a business. So, if you are doing something related to teens, you should probably check this conference out!


July 15, 2008



Whizzing past the water, changing to land, you peek at the spedometer, and realize, you're going eighty on a fifty-five mile-an-hour speed-limit.

Why do they go so fast?

I think they go fast, because that way, they can make more money by getting more people once they're finished with you.
So, is this better than a bus?

In my opinion, no. Bus drivers lose their job (well, in some companies) if they're pulled over for speeding, and so, busses are better if you have lots of time for where you're going. If not, take a cab!


Y Pulse

So an overview of Y-Pulse... but first, what is Y-Pulse?

This years 2008 Y-Pulse was stellar, lead by Anastasia Goodstein. The conference was about teen marketing, and technology. Speakers Ranged from Justina Chen Headley (an author), to MC Hammer (hip-hop,, and everything went on schedule, and was very exciting.

Who was at the conference?

Starting out companies, starting authors, and CEO's of companies, all people, focusing on tweens, but mostly teens.

So, where was the conference located?

Good old San Francisco. The confrence and the lodging was in Hotel Nikko.

What was your favorite part?

I really liked some of the social networking confrences, but no confrence was bad- for all of the people speaking were very good, and knew what they were doing.


For More information on Y Pulse click HERE.

July 10, 2008

Shanghai Shadows

Shanghai Shadows by Lois Ruby is about a girl (Ilse) who is in her early teens. She had lived in Austria, but with the Germans coming to invade, her family moves to Shanghai. In Shanghai Ilse meets new and interesting people, but also faces challenges, like when her older brother joins REACT (a rebellion against the Japaniese who are infesting China), she follows him, and joins the resistance.

This is a great book, and it deserves a rating of nine out of ten (9/10).

All people who liked Kiki Strike and the Shadow city, or Montmorency and the Assasains, would like this book.

I highly recomend this book for its plot, and how Lois Ruby creates the characters, some who would be your friend, and some, your enemy...


July 4, 2008


Geocaching involves a GPS (Global Positioning System). It is where you can find "geocaches" around you. Geocaching is where somebody hides a "Cache" (a little box, to an altoides tin, to an ammo box), and they tell you online what the latitude and longitute are, and you have to go and look for it.

Click HERE for more info.


July 3, 2008

The Hunger Games

Imagine a place that we called North America, now put into twelve "districts" and a capitol. Now Imagine that the districts had raised a rebellion against the capitol, and had failed, and as punishment, each district would have to submit one boy and one girl each year to The Hunger Game - a fight to the death. The winner would survive, and bring food to his/her district.
Imagine being chosen, and being in love with the person you have to kill to survive...

The Hunger Games by Susan Collins is a really great book. I encourage everyone when the book comes out to read it!

Rating-- 9/10, readers 7th grade and up.

July 2, 2008

Weekly News & Comments

Tech Center

In modern times, we want a good and inexpensive sound program, because who actually wants Sound Recorder? For one, you can't do almost anything with it, and second, you can't delete any sound.

So I was looking on the Internet, and I found a good sound recording program. It is called Audacity. Audacity lets you delete certain sections, see the wave lengths, and much, much, more. Best of all, it's free!
Book Center
I looked around and I found myself glued into The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. This book is by Douglas Adams. It is about a man on Earth, who finds out that the Earth is about to blow up from a friend, who happens to not be from Earth at all! Read their adventure, and also maybe watch the movie!
I give this a rating of 8.5/10, and say that I would recommend the age from 12-100. This is a sci-fi book also.

June 22, 2008

Book questions

Minkster, I have two questions for you concerning books-
1.In the book Life as We Knew It, how would you suggest people be prepared for emergencies?
2.In the book Letters for Algernon, would you have made the same decision to have the operation done on you?

Good questions…
As an answer,

1.I would suggest that people make some home emergency boxes (the ideal boxes would be large transparent crates) that have enough supplies to last two weeks if you would be eating three meals a day. Change the cans, and the drinks every year. Also on the drink topic, pick some bulk waters (lots of individual water bottles) up, considering that if everyone in your family drank two a day, build up enough to last two weeks.

Imagine that someone was hurt. Well, think ahead (this would also be good for just every day), and get a large first aid kit that has everything in it that you would need, and also an explanatory sheet telling how and when to utilize the equipment. Also to be super safe, attend (that doesn’t mean just you, it means bring everyone eligible) a training session on first aid. Check the local news, the Red Cross page, and your local medical station, or hospital, and sign yourself up. You never know when you might need to have that knowledge.

Finally, have your family go over an evacuation plan. Know the safest way out. Designate a meeting space. Make everyone memorize everyone else’s numbers (cell-phone).

2. Yes, I would have made the same decision as Charlie (knowing now what the damage was), because it would have been comforting to know that I had once been that smart and that I had once learned things that I never would’ve dreamed of doing before.

I would have known that I had proved some of the smartest people on Earth today wrong. The scientists who conducted the operation upon Charlie assumed that if he survived, he would stay at his peak intelligence level.

So yes, I would have made the same decision, but also to tell my mother and my sister that I had changed, I was intelligent, and that the Charlie even before the change, had been human. Had had dreams, thoughts, emotions, and feelings.


p.s. I recommend that anyone who hasn’t read the books above should read them.
Minkster recommended ages- 12 or 13 – 18 to 19.

June 16, 2008

Audio File

I was casually strolling the web, when I came upon a masterpiece of a sound technology called Audacity. I did a quick download and... in about 60 seconds, it was downloaded.

What I most like however, though, about audacity is the ability to scroll through your work, delete sections, and have lots of special effect possibilities.

I highly recomend this program to all who are in need of a good sound editing program, and also to all people who just like to have nick-nacks! So there you are, AUDACITY!


what's up?

In this blog, I will blog about what ever seems to be on my mind (books, electronics, math...), and I will try to make it interesting (so no monologue).

So whether it's molecules, or a history fact, or even a reading tip, it's going to be a good blog (or so I hope).